by Shelt Garner
Only once in the post-WWII era has living through history lived up to its hype — the fall of Communism. That was kind of “fun-interesting.” Few people got hurt and it was a made-for-TV moment of hope that happened out of nowhere.
And now we have a potential pandemic in the guise of the WuFlu outbreak in Wuhan. I’m seeing a lot of “giddy” people wallowing in fear porn about the prospect of, well, the end of the world and these people are, to say the least, rather misguided. There’s a reason why the phrase, “May you live in interesting times” is a curse. Living through history sucks. When history wakes up like during, say, a war, it sucks on an human, practical level. The narrative of the history books can be extremely disturbing as it’s happening in real time.
Hence, if whatever is stopping people dying from WuFlu changed rather abruptly, it would suck. It would not be fun. It would be an process, not an event that would cause a huge amount of global instability for months with aftershocks that would last years and decades. It would be referred by future generations the same way WWII has been referred to for the last three generations: the moment when everything changed.
We’re just not prepared on a practical level for something that’s not a day-long event like 9/11 was, but a process that is measured in days, weeks, and months. Empires of various sorts — political, technological and otherwise — would rise and fall by the time it was all over with.
My guess is if the worst happened — which I neither believe will happen, nor want – things like Hollywood and the newspaper industry would collapse and we’d have a few years of us all struggling to figure out what just happened and how we were going to adjust to the new normal where VR, AR, MX and everything Elon Musk has been working on suddenly were the core part of life.
Anyway, as I keep saying, something dramatic has to happen. It’s out of our hands, too. WuFlu is all over the world at this point. For some reason, only people in Wuhan itself have a real risk of actually dying. If you’re outside of that city, then, you may get sick from WuFlu, but your chances of actually dying from it are actually pretty low.
What — to date — has made WuFlu different in Wuhan remains a mystery to me. But to go back to the point — while I would be concerned and informed about WuFlu, it’s looking like it’s going to fizzle out by April as predicted.
If it doesn’t it’s going to suck. The basics of life may be put in danger for months and existing governments of major nations like China, Russia and, yes, even the United States may fall to be replaced by new, unexpected styles of government altogether. I wouldn’t sleep on the idea that the United States is going have a revolution – civil war — division in months, not decades, if there was a pandemic. America’s political system is extremely taunt and we’re already in the Fourth Reich. A pandemic might push us into something far darker.
The point is, please refrain from indulging in fear porn on Twitter. This is real. This is real life — and death.